Franklin County Beekeepers Association Present Day
Over the years the FCBA of Pennsylvania has had a few make overs. What was founded more for commercial beekeepers and honey production has turned into a key learning tool for all types of beekeeping.
Our organization tries to bring beekeepers together. The seasoned beekeepers’ experience with the new beekeepers’ thirst for knowledge. The shared enthusiasm and the simple joy of enabling honey bees gives us a purpose of keeping them happy, healthy and productive.
Since we have such a wide variety of beekeepers and experience levels, we try to keep everyone up on new data and skills to help reach your ultimate beekeeping goals. If it’s pollination, making mead or cosmetics, just your own honey on the table or studying the intricate and fascinating world of the honey bee. we have something for you.
Continuing education classes, hands on workshops, seminars, presentations and wide range of guest speakers are all integral parts of the FCBA. But along with all that the club has fun! We have events like our ice cream social or our Honey bee festival that hosts our picnic, bake sale and yard sale. At the end of our seasons, when we are all closing up our hives for winter we have our new beekeepers graduation and FCBA banquet and silent auction.
Our Outreach programs are made up of volunteer beekeepers educating the public with displays and information, apitherapy, honey, beeswax, roles of the worker bees, pollinators and seminars on “bee friendly environments” to show people how to help save the bees and what the world would be like, without the honey bee. If you have an event that you would like us come and speak or set up a booth, contact the FCBA president to see if our schedule allows.
The program that we are most proud of is our beginner program, Beginner Beekeeping Basics. After the classes are over we have a field day. We pair the new beekeeper with a mentor. We have support to address question and concerns. There is a Facebook page to ask questions, post pictures and interact with one another. At the beginning of each season we have beginner workshops going over seasonal procedures and information. Then out to the bee yard to see how our hives compare to yours.
Of course there are lots of great opportunities for seasoned beekeepers as well. We are a part of the Pa, Queen Bee Improvement Program. We have begun queen rearing classes where we are grafting Purdue leg chewers queens with our survivor stock. Then distribute them to apiaries all over Franklin, Fulton and Adams counties in an effort to create a calmer, more hygienic bee that fights the Varroa Destructor. Varroa, the plague of honey bees, spreads diseases, viruses and sometimes killing off entire hives. We think this is an important step to help eradicate the varroa threat.
If you are interested in becoming a beekeeper or just want to see what its all about please check out our events page. All events, seminars, workshops and meetings, with the exception of our Beginner course are free and open to the public. Come out to the festival, attend a honey harvesting workshop or come out and learn how to make mead. Children regardless of age are welcome to come with you. We have a “Do you want to be a beekeeper?” seminar if you think beekeeping might be for you.
We have a wonderful group of beekeepers and family friendly atmosphere, its only $5.00 a year to join the Franklin County Beekeepers Association. Join us and help us save the bees. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations to help save the bees is tax deductible.
Franklin County Beekeepers Association History
The formal organizational meeting of the Franklin County Beekeepers Association took place on Tuesday, September 11, 1979, at 6:30 pm at the Antrim House in Greencastle. The by-laws for the association were approved at that meeting. The officers were as follows: President -Lewis Johnson, Chambersburg; V. President-Joe Bullock, Greencastle; Sec.-Treas.-Robert Forsythe, Shippensburg; Directors- Lee Golden, Greencastle, Walter Burkholder, Greencastle, and Mel Bland, Chambersburg. The stated purpose for forming the organization at the time was “to conduct educational programs for beekeepers, to work for legislation favorable to the bee industry, and to encourage and promote the bee and honey industry in general.”Frankling County Beekeepers Association Bylaws (pdf)